Okay, new chapter! Contrary to what you may believe, I did not fall off the face of the Earth! I've just been busy and uninspired. But now I'm back! So I hope you enjoy the latest installment of Shadow the Sun!

Also, I have added a few new character pics for your viewing pleasure.

Chapter Two


~*Southern continent Johel, of Lanosh*~

"Damn disruptor field! Our scanners can't even penetrate it when we're on the surface!"

Captain Albian complained. He and Third Officer Cross were traveling on foot, near a thick forest. Putting his scanner back into his pack, Albian pointed toward the forest.

"Let's try looking in there. There was a momentary blip on the scanner, and it was coming from that direction. Might as well check it out."

So the two headed into the forest. As they walked Cross kept his eyes glued to his scanner, while Albian eyed his surroundings. The forest was quiet—almost too quiet. There was no wind, no chattering of animals, no signs of life at all. It was unnerving.

The roots of the trees curled around his legs. The forest floor was dappled in silvery moonlight, but instead of the light being comforting, it casts eerie shadows against trees and made him see mutants and strange creatures hiding behind the trees, watching him.

As they walked they noticed that the air surrounding them was beginning to heat up, and they could see a faint light glowing in the distance.

They quickened their pace and after awhile they came to a clearing, and saw that there was a village there—or at least what was left of it.

"My God! What happened here…?" Cross asked, looking up from his scanner.

The buildings were burned, some still glowing from the embers. Bodies lined the streets.

They checked for survivors, but found no one alive. As they walked through the town they saw a strange light glowing behind a house. When they neared it, they saw a young woman with black hair and red eyes. She was wearing an off-the-shoulder dress, deep red with black accents on the sleeves and hems.

"Oh Sanctus Unus, veho illa penuriosus animus ut afterlife in pacis…" She whispered, and as they approached she looked up.

"Listen well, travelers, to this tale of sadness. Learn from it, and make not the same mistakes. Will you listen?"

"We will." Captain Albian said, and Cross nodded silently.

"Then take a seat, gentlemen."


~*Unknown, Lanosh*~

Bright light. That's all I knew. I was surrounded by bright light. I couldn't hear anything, and the light was so bright that I couldn't open my eyes without pain. My whole body was numb. I tried to move, but nothing happened. I struggled against the empty feeling of my body, and finally moved a tiny bit. But all that got me was a strange pressure on my arm.

"Don't try to move, dear, you're badly wounded." A soft feminine voice said.

Where am I? I asked, but didn't receive an answer. Wait, did I not say that out loud? That explains why she didn't answer. So I tried again.

"Wh-where… a-" But that's all I managed before my voice gave out.

"Where are you? Is that what you wanted to ask? Well, it's a little hard to explain, but don't worry, you're all right." The woman answered. Then the light dimmed, and I could open my eyes again. I seemed to be in a lab of some sort, and the woman nearby was wearing a white coat.

Wait, was that a coat? As I studied it further, I realized that no, it was a gown. Like a ball gown, almost. Why was this woman treating me in a ball gown? And for that matter, why was this woman treating me at all? I didn't know her. I'd never seen her before.

So I tried to think. I had just returned from Dashi with dad, been yelled at by Juno, spent time with Aeon, and then… then? What happened after that? I left Aeon, and… and then what? Did I go to my room? I was heading there, right? That sounded right. But what else? What was I forgetting? What had happened to put me here?

As I laid there thinking about it, the memories came flooding back with such force that I almost couldn't handle them. Mikhail! He was waiting outside my door, and he attacked me. He tried to kill me!

Wait a minute!

Am I dead?

"Of course not, silly." The woman spoke up again. "You didn't die. But you nearly did. So I'm taking care of you."

Wait, I hadn't said that out loud, had I? This woman could hear my thoughts?

"Who… who are… you?" I asked, my voice dry and scratchy, as if I hadn't used it in a long time.

"Now, don't you worry about that. I'm your nurse." She continued, bowing her head slightly.

"No, please… a name, any name. I… have to know… who you are. Please…" But the woman just smiled softly and shook her head.

"I can't tell you that, dear. It would alter your perception of reality, and we can't have that. For now, just consider me…" She paused to think, and then smiled again when she came up with the response she was looking for…

"Your guardian angel."


I awoke a while later without realizing I had even fallen asleep. The woman was in the room, singing softly to herself. Now, I didn't have as good of hearing as my dad did, because my angelic abilities weren't as evolved, but I could hear her song well enough to realize that I knew it.

It was a lullaby.

It was a lullaby I'd heard as a child. I knew who this woman was now. Struggling to sit up I looked at the woman, who still had her back to me, and said one word:


The woman turned her head sharply, and then laughed. "Of course you would think that. If you're in a strange place with no familiar face, seek the comfort of a familiar memory. The one who's always there."

"If that were true, then why not seek out my father? He's the one who's always been there. You-my mother-died when I was a baby." I pointed out.

"Your father may be the one who's always there physically, but your mother is there in you heart, in your mind and spirit. Always."

Okay, this woman was starting to sound like a fortune cookie gone wrong. Time for me to find my way out of here. Looking around the room, I found a door on the back wall.

"I think it's time for me to leave." I said, and the woman turned.

"If you think you're ready to leave then by all means, go ahead. I'll be here when you're ready to come back." Come back? Why would I want to come back? And for that matter, how could I return to this place? I didn't even know where it was!

But before I could wonder about this for long the woman waved her hand, and there was a bright flash of light.

"Melodi…? Melodi, can you hear me?" A deep voice questioned.


"I'm here, Melodi. I'm right here." Then I felt him take my hand and squeeze it gently. I opened my eyes and found that I was lying on a bed, and as I looked around I realized that I was back in the Mercenary's Guild in Allosath, in the infirmary.

"Melodi, what happened? Who did this to you?" Dad asked.

"Mikhail…" I whispered, and I could see the rage on his face.

"I should have known…" He breathed, but I didn't answer. After a few moments of silence I spoke again.

"Dad, do you have a picture of mom?"

"Yes, in my bedroom. Why?"

"I want to see it." I stood up from the bed, and felt a terrible pain tear through my body. For a moment I couldn't breathe, the pain was so intense.

I wish I was still numb.

My dad eased me back to the bed, insisting that I remain there, and went to retrieve the photo from his room.

He returned a short time later, and handed it over to me. I studied it a moment, and felt tears gather in my eyes.

"I saw her…"


"I saw mom." Then I explained what I saw when I was unconscious.

"How is that possible?" He asked when I was finished, and I shook my head.

"I don't know. Maybe it has to do with whatever gives me the ability to see the future. Or maybe it was just a strange dream. I have no idea."

"Hm… well, rest awhile. I will deal with Mikhail." Then my dad walked out. As I looked at the photo further, I began to see similarities between my mother and I.

Dad always said I got my chestnut hair and bright blue eyes from my mother, and I could tell he was right. But that was where the similarities ended. She had a small, thin mouth while I had wide, full lips. Her face was small and had an almost pixie-ish quality to it, and mine was etched in hard lines.

Dad said that the hardships of my life were etched onto my face, and that with the way I had lived it was to be expected. But that didn't mean I had to like it.


The next few days were spent in my room in the guild, recovering. Apparently the King had been told about what happened, or at least that I was unavailable, and he sent a message to the High Priest about the ceremony that Alec was to attend. After some discussion, they agreed to postpone the ceremony until I was well enough to return to work.

My dad said that it was likely that Alec had something to do with the decision, seeing that he was the one who specifically requested that I be there.

Dad spent as much time with me as he could, and told me that Juno had been livid when he learned of Mikhail's actions.

I was surprised by that, honestly. I mean, Juno hated me-why would he care if I died? As strange as it was, though, I tried not to think of it too much.

Instead, I focused on my mom. I couldn't understand how I had seen her, unless it was just one of those strange visions you get when you're about to die.

And according to her, I did nearly die.

But wow… seeing my mom was amazing. She died before I was old enough to have memories of her, and I really missed her. But I still had to wonder-what was up with that ball gown?


After a week and a half I was deemed well enough to resume my duties, so I hurriedly gathered a few things and joined my dad, and headed back to Johel to meet up with the Alura.

We used dragons to fly to Johel, which took several hours since it was another continent, and arrived late in the evening.

As we approached Hadar, the Johellian capital, I could see the townspeople gathering near the town gate, looking up at us in awe. Well, technically they were looking at the dragons.

The use of a dragon wasn't rare, but unless you raised dragons yourself you were lucky to ever ride one. Dragonkeepers set up stables in larger cities, but renting a dragon was terribly expensive. So to see someone fly in on one was not an everyday event.

Tying the dragons' reins to a fence post, we walked through the city gates and headed to the castle. Fortunately, the guard at the door knew who we were, and ushered us into a waiting room while another went to find Alec.

As we waited, I looked around the room we were taken to. It was nicely decorated, done in deep reds and browns. The room reminded me of the small home belonging to the King of Dashi, which was little more than a log cabin.

Unlike in Dashi, the King of Johel lived in the capital city in a grand castle. The King of Dashi, however, moved to a small village a fair distance from the capital after an assassination attempt by one of his aids. Now only the most trusted people could enter his home, and there were guards around at all times.

After we had been waiting for nearly half an hour, the guard returned with a message.

"I am terribly sorry, but Master Alec is currently occupied and asks that you come again at a later time."

"Did you tell him who we are? He might open his schedule a bit if he knew we were the ones waiting." I questioned.

"I'm sorry, Ma'am, I-"

"Oh, never mind, I'll do it myself. I know the way to his chambers; I assume that's where he is?" I said, brushing past the guard and heading for the stairs.

"Melodi…" My dad warned, but I hardly noticed.

"Ma'am, you can't go in there! Master Alec-"

"Will just have to make time in his busy schedule for a five minute conversation with me." I interrupted again. Normally I would never be so rude, but we were in a hurry. I took the stairs two at a time, and stopped at Alec's door moments later.

When I knocked I heard a woman's squeal, and a moment later the door opened and said woman scurried away. As I watched her hurry down the hall, I was reminded of the way a mouse would run for the shadows if it were discovered.

"Ah, the Lovely Lady Melodi. To what do I owe this late evening visit?" Alec called, his voice reminding me that I was here for a reason.

"We were supposed to be leaving for Arckra as soon as I was well, remember?" I asked as I entered the room to find Alec standing at the window.

"Of course I remember. But it's getting late. We should wait until tomorrow to head out."

I didn't want to agree with him, but I knew he was probably right. We had plenty of time to reach Arckra even if we left tomorrow, and it was getting late.

"Very well, we will head out first thing in the morning. Be ready and meet us at the gate." I said as I turned to leave the room.

"You know, you could stay here in the castle for the night. No sense in staying in that dirty old inn." Alec offered, and I paused in the doorway.

"That will certainly save the money of renting a room for the night. Thank you, Alura."

"Hey, no problem. You can always stay here in my room if you want to. Plenty of space in this suite. We could keep each other company tonight."

Without another word I turned and left the room.

The next morning, we left the inn early and went to the stable to check on the carriage. When we arrived, we found good news and bad; the good news was that the horses were ready, but the bad news was that the driver wasn't. But he wasn't asleep or even ill-He was drunk!

"Now what do we do?" I questioned.

"Do either of you know how to drive a team of horses?" Alec asked.

"I can." My dad spoke up.

"You can?" This inquiry was from me. I didn't know he could drive a team. But he had to rely on horses for travel during the war, so I guess maybe he learned at that time.

"Okay, now that we have a driver, let's get going. Just leave a note and some credit chips and let's get out of here." Alec said, seeming impatient.

So we a handful of credits and a note on the table by the door and set off.